Chief Palestinian negotiator, Ahmad Qureia, has stated that by continuing to reject the establishment of an independent Palestinian State, Israel is making a two-state solution an impossible aim. Qureia states that Israel should fully withdraw from the Palestinian territories captured in 1967, including East Jerusalem and allow an independent Palestinian state to be established within the 1967 boundaries. However, if Israel continues to reject these proposals and refuses to co-operate over areas such as the removal of illegal Israeli settlements within the West Bank, then Qureia argues that ‘we will call for the alternative solution for the Palestinian people and their leadership – that is a single binationalist state’ .
Qureia released these statements following a closed-door meeting with Fatah in the West Bank.
Though US mediated talks have been running for some time, little visible progress has been made. The deadline for achieving a peace deal based on a two-state solution is next January when US President George Bush leaves office, though many think this is now unlikely. Israel’s refusal to negotiate over key issues, and the current domestic crisis faced by the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert over multiple corruption charges and his looming resignation all contribute to the stagnation of the peace talks.